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Tiger Nation - The Last Flush of Youth

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See what our tiger cubs, Johnno, Tala, Crumbie and Vijaya have been up to, growing up and about their pregnant mother!

With India’s summer at its hottest - now 42 degrees centigrade by midday - Jaya’s four cubs still hang around the many water sources in their mother’s territory.  Sometimes four youngsters together, sometimes separately, they are however not restricted to the Rajbehra meadows as their mother Jaya prefers in the summer.  With new waterholes built in the drier areas of the tigress’s territory this last winter,  these young adults, like gap year students, enjoy the freedom to roam further, be in Kanoji, Nilgai Marg or the golden dry Sehra meadows where delicious numbers of spotted deer now gather in large herds.

Last night Johnno and his sisters pestering the Tala gaur herd, (India’s enormous black wild cows), that now moves with several chocolate coloured calves in their Rajbehra homeland. Being brought up on regular feasts of village cows has given these rascals an appetite for beef, a worrying and dangerous treat when the four have to leave their family home and disperse this coming monsoon. 

However the gaur got the better of the tigers and even butted one of the girls resulting in her still carrying a distinct limp. More recently two of the sisters were seen scrapping in Sehra meadow, claws drawn in an all-out cat fight. It’s now time these three sibling sisters were out on their own finding their own way in life. 
Meanwhile their handsome but sensitive brother, Johnno, likes to keep mum in sight and is more often spotted near where she prefers to reside around Rajbehra and Badhaini. He’s still desperately shy!

The star of the litter and always the boldest of the cubs is the large and pretty girl Trya, recently seen near Rajbehra Bathan junction sitting up amongst the rocks looking elegant and confident as only cats do. She is more settled with elephants and vehicles than any other member of her of the family.  The biggest of the girls, Crumbie is the most independent and least likely to be seen of the sisters. All are mature now at over two years old and perfectly capable of looking after themselves, but Johnno does not want to loose the apron strings of his Mum just yet.

Mum herself must be pregnant again and possibly even close to delivering a second litter. However, like her sister Vijaya they will not be fathered by the moonshine male, Shashi, this time, but another dominant male by the name by Jobhi, who has muscled in from nowhere on the sisters local patch.

For Jaya it’s a special time if she can keep her four away from her secret special haunts. A time for this little tigress to relax and stay fit and worry only for herself and the probable babies growing inside her. Soon life will be full of hard work and worry again but for now during the tough hot days of summer she can at least rest a little after two years and no holiday. A mothers work is never done and soon if all goes well and her three older daughters, Tyra, Murphy and Crumbie find secure homes they too will have cubs and add to Jaya’s and her mother Durga’s legacy. For her son Johnno however things will be tougher in a male dominated forest right now and rife with conflict unless he is clever and keeps out of sight. He’s pretty good at being elusive at present so let’s hope he remains so until his time comes good in a few years time.